By Geoff Berkeley |
Nathan Chen of the United States produced an explosive performance to Elton John’s Rocket Man as he claimed the men’s singles skating title at the Winter Olympics here.
The three-time world champion hit the ground running with a quad flip and triple toeloop before adding a quad toeloop, single Euler and triple flip combination followed by triple Lutz and triple toeloop in an impressive men’s free skate routine.
It was not mistake-free but he finished with a flurry, posting a score of 218.63 points to improve his overall total to 332.60 after producing a record-breaking tally of 113.97 in the short program.
Yuma Kagiyama of Japan took the silver medal with 310.05 points, while compatriot Shoma Uno claimed bronze with 293.00.
But the hopes of team-mate Yuzuru Hanyu, seeking a third consecutive gold medal, were dashed as he finished off the podium in fourth place.
Hanyu had it all to do after placing eighth after the short program where he scored 95.15.
The 27-year-old attempted a quad Axel – a move that has never been completed in competition – in a bid to boost his bid but he failed to land it.
He scored 188.06, improving his overall total to 283.21 but he was soon overtaken by Japanese colleagues Kagiyama and Uno.
The men’s singles competition was billed as a showdown between Chen and Hanyu, but the American was the clear winner on this occasion.
Chen produced a world record-breaking score of 113.97 in the short program before showing great poise to seal gold with a fine free skate routine.
It was also the second gold medal in the space of a couple of hours for the US after Chloe Kim claimed the women’s halfpipe snowboarding title.
Chen becomes the seventh American to win men’s singles gold and first since Evan Lysacek triumphed at Vancouver 2010 with Hanyu coming out on top at Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 2018.
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.